Ben Roethlisberger was one of many future stars that general manager Kevin Colbert was part of selecting as Steelers general manager the past 22 years. One day after Roethlisberger announced his retirement, Steelers president Art Rooney II announced that Colbert will resign his post following this year’s NFL Draft, per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Rooney said that the Steelers will immediately begin conducting outside interviews for the position. The Steelers have already interviewed VP of football operations Omar Khan and pro scouting coordinator Brandon Hunt for the position. Rooney said that the Steelers will likely not fill the position until after the draft.
Colbert is interested in staying with the team in a reduced capacity for the 2022 season. A longtime NFL executive, Colbert has been a major contributor to Pittsburgh’s success over the past two decades. During his 22 years with the organization, the Steelers have won two Super Bowls, three AFC championships and 10 division titles. The Steelers have qualified for the playoffs 14 times and have had just one losing season during that span. Pittsburgh’s current run of 18 consecutive non-losing seasons is the NFL’s longest such streak.
A Pittsburgh native, Colbert, 65, grew up cheering for the Steelers during their run of four Super Bowl wins during the ’70s. He broke into the NFL as a BLESTO scout in 1984. He then spent five seasons with the Dolphins‘ scouting department before spending 10 seasons as the Lions‘ pro scouting director. Colbert was named the Steelers’ director of football operations in 2000 before being named the team’s general manager in 2010.
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Under Colbert’s watch, the Steelers have drafted many future Pro Bowl players that include Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Maurkice Pouncey, Ryan Shazier, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Emmanuel Sanders, Mike Wallace, James Conner, David DeCastro, Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt, Casey Hampton, and Heath Miller, among others. He also traded up in the 2006 draft to acquire receiver Santonio Holmes, who two years later would turn in an MVP performance in Pittsburgh’s win over Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII. In 2019, he traded a future first-round pick to acquire safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who has blossomed into an All-Pro performer in Pittsburgh.
Colbert has reportedly wanted to leave the Steelers with the franchise in a position to continue to have success following his departure. While Roethlisberger’s retirement leaves a vacancy at quarterback, the Steelers are coming off a season that saw them clinch a wild card berth with a 9-7-1 record. Pittsburgh’s roster includes two reigning All-Pros selections in Heyward and Watt, a two-time All-Pro in Fitzpatrick, a 1,000-yard receiver in Diontae Johnson, a 1,000-yard running back in Najee Harris, a talented tight end in Pat Freiermuth, and a young offensive line that included two rookies — Dan Moore Jr. and Kendrick Green — who started throughout the 2021 season.